NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
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December 2, 2004

Hi Folks,

Riding up to Crawford Notch this morning to check on the state-o-the-ice I thought to myself that it was time to say goodbye to rock season. It was below freezing, snow was on the ground and once I got above Bartlett there were a lot of flurries obscuring everything. Yet here it is at noon in our Valley and it's sunny and almost 40 in the shade. What's an ice climber to do?

Of course one thing you can do is to go rock climbing. Last Wednesday Brad White and I got in a day's efforts on Humphrey's and this Tuesday we did the same. It was a sunny day and from 10 until 2 it had to be at least 50 in the sun! Of course when the sun dipped behind the clouds it quickly chilled off. There also was a ton of water pouring off all the crags in the area. Cathedral has been steadily turning more green with moss and Humphrey's as wet as I can remember. You could even hear gurgling inside the cracks and crevices as we climbed. Still it was a wonderful time to be out, even if it were to be the last time. But you never know, do you?

It's hard to get excited about ice season when things are this slow to get off the ground. Fortunately I've been able to grab a few days here and there to keep my interest up, otherwise I'd be a very frustrated puppy. You can only spend so much time sharpening screws, tools and crampons before you just want to get out there & bash some ice!

There has been ice in the ravines consistently since the end of October. Certainly not as much as we all would like, but not terrible. People have been grabbing Pinnacle, Central and Odell's occasionally for a while now. As usual, Tuckerman has had some early season ice for several weeks that's attracted a number of intrepid individuals. Ice has formed left of Left Gully and on the right side in the obvious corner that has been fun to play on. I was in Tucks on Saturday and the climbing was pretty reasonable. After a very cold and windy Friday I was concerned that we would even be able to make it to the headwall, but it turned into a very nice day. here are a few shots you might like:

Left of Left
Right Corner
Landscape shot

It poured rain on Sunday and I would have thought that the conditions would have significantly deteriorated, however some friends went up on Monday and said again it was reasonable. They climbed up on the right, trended back left and up over the headwall to the Alpine Garden and came down the Summer Lion's Head trail. The said it was mixed ice and snow and fun, tho the Tucks trail was pretty bad.

I know I keep harping on the state of the ravine trail, but it has been as bad as I've ever seen it. As of Monday there was a lot of ice above the dogleg, and even the rocks you can normally hop on are covered with a film of verglass. It was quite hard to walk on the side as you normally would as well. Be more cautions than normal.


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Up on one of the Mount Washington Valley's finest crags and want to know what that climb you're looking at is? Or maybe you're on your way up from Boston and want to check out the Ice Report for your upcoming weekend plans. Or more likely, you're at work just want to daydream about your next adventure. Well if you have a smart phone handy, you can get to NEClimbs from anywhere you have cell service. While it doesn't offer every single feature of the site and it's not an "app", in mobile form, it does do a whole lot and is very useful. Here is the live link to the mobile version of NEClimbs:

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Remember - climb hard, ride the steep stuff, stay safe and above all BE NICE,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous.
Reinhold Messner
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